Lake Mead
Day 3
Should have used the Coolvest yesterday.

328 miles - estimated 6:33 hours

It's unfortunate but it's time to head home.  Because we didn't make it to Cottonwood Cove last  night, today's ride is going to be a long one.  We are suppose to take Route 66 on our way back but let's see how the things pan out.  It would be nice to get to Victorville via the back roads but I don't know how realistic that is.  We're all tired so there is a possibility we're going to skip sections of Route 66.

As always, the first order of business is boiling water for some intense instant coffee.  Man o'man!  This stuff sure hits the spot.

Amazing.  The J&M Intergratr IV with the Li-on battery lasted two days constant use without recharging.  That's pretty amazing considering the company reported the batter is suppose to last only 12 hours.  That's an entire 36 hours beyond specs.  This is with a lot of chatting on the 2 way radio and constant music streaming to the ears.  If ever I'm going to recommend a portable intercom to anybody, this is it.  For today I have to swap out the Li-on for some regular alkaline batteries because the Li-on is finally dead.

We do our morning routine and pack up for the last time.  I jokingly ask the Captain whether he wants to go back to the casino for breakfast.  As expected, "No" is the answer.  I think all three of us have had our fill of the casino food.  We're looking forward to something like a Denny's for breakfast.  Hopefully we'll be able to find one in Boulder.

We're definitely getting good at this packing and unpacking bit.  It's about 10:00AM and we're ready to jump on the road home.  However, today I'm going to use my Coolvest.  The weather is predicted to be hot and I'm not going to chance it like yesterday.  I soak the vest in whatever is left of the ice water in the cooler.  The minute I throw the vest on I experience instant relief.  Wow!  This is night and day compared to the ambient temperature, which is in the high 80s already.  If we had used our Coolvest when touring Hoover Dam yesterday, we probably wouldn't have succumb to heat exhaustion.  The scary thing is, we were being effected by the heat yesterday, but we didn't realize it.  We bid our fond farewell to the campsite and ride out for the last time.

There's no freakin' Denny's or any type of restaurant on the 93 Hwy (Nevada Hwy).  Only fast food restaurants.  How is a person expected get a decent breakfast around here?  As we reach the outskirts of Boulder City, the Captain made a recommendation, "Why don't we go ahead and go to Vegas?  It's only 27 miles away."  Sure, why not.  Las Vegas should have plenty of places with good food.  As we continue on the 93 Hwy towards Henderson, we encounter the Railroad Pass Hotel & Casino.  "Do we want to eat here?  Hopefully the food is better than the last casino."  We go for it anyway.  At least it beats traveling another 26 miles to get to Las Vegas.  After all, we have a good 300+ miles to get home.

Don't these casinos believe in cooling off their surroundings?  A couple of trees here and there wouldn't hurt.  The all tarmac packing lot is irradiating heat like we're in a 350 degrees oven.  Roasting like a bunch of chickens.  It must be a ploy to keep patrons inside to suck that one last penny out of our pockets.  It's working.  At a minimum we're going to spend our money to eat at this place.

Brunch buffet?  $7 a person?  Sold to the American!  Not bad at all.  It's a much better establishment than the Hacienda Hotel & Casino.  However, I made the mistake of ordering a custom omelet.  I should have just stuck to the food at the buffet.  The pre-cooked eggs are actually much better than the hand built omelet.  Of course the buffet eggs brings back a lot of memories about powdered eggs even though I know we're not eating powdered eggs.  Nu and I have had our fill of powdered eggs back when we were in Guam.  You can't mistake the ever so slight after taste of powdered eggs.  As for the Captain, he's never experienced powdered eggs.  I think he missing out on a gourmet experience. well, kind of.  It's actually more a rite of passage.  We promise to let him try powdered eggs one of these days just for the experience.  Anyway, we're all glad to taste good food instead of bland food.  If we're ever out here again, we'll go to the Railroad Pass Hotel & Casino instead.

"How far do you think it is to Searchlight?" asked Nu.  "My guess is it's about 50-60.  It's suppose to be right in that saddle over there.  I don't know, I can't really tell from what the GPS was telling me."  Once again we're a bit concerned about the distance to the next fuel stop.  The last time we fueled up was right before we headed out for the Valley of Fire yesterday.  That was a good 120+ miles round trip out and back.  If Searchlight is less than 50 miles, we all should be fine.

It's a nice curvy junction between the 93 and the 95 Hwy.  Damn it's windy.  There's even a dust devil to boot.  Man I don't want to go through one of those things again.  It'll rip the skin off of my face.  Being unsure of the distance to Searchlight, I slowed us all to 65 MPH to conserve fuel and to keep us all under control from the heavy winds.  Fortunately it was only 41 miles to get to Terrible's Casino.  Well within our remaining fuel range.  Once more we fuel up.  Now we don't have to worry about fuel again for a while.  This also means we get to skip the Hi Sahara Oasis.  The place that charges $6 for premium fuel.  Another 10 lbs of ice, several drinks, and we're all set for the rest of the day.

It's so nice to ride the downhill stretch of the 95 Hwy.  The wind still whips us around but at least it's not as bad as before.  About 10 or so miles into the downhill stretch, Nu chimes in on the radio to tell me that I lost something from my bike.  "What?  Are you sure?"  He saw something black fly off and passed him really fast.  "OK."  I pull over to the side of the road to have a quick check.  Everything looks like it's in order.  I don't know what he's talking about.  Oh well, time to move on.  While we're sitting on the side of the road, an 18 wheeler passes us by.  Still not being accustom to the idea that big rig trucks can driver at 70 MPH, I'm anticipating we're going to catch up and pass this guy.  Boy am I ever wrong.  We nearly catchup, but we're unable to pass him.  Just as well, I rather not be pressured by something that views me as an insignificant little insect.  We keep our distance and let him do whatever he likes.  I much rather he turns SUVs into road kill instead of us.  I don't know if I'll ever get use to the idea of having to drive at 90 MPH just to get away from these guys.  I'll just stick to the slow lane and avoid these mad men at all cost (e.g. let them pass and be on their merry way while I hang back and try to relax).

Eventually we reach our turn out and make a right turn.  Back on Route 66 once more.  This time around, it's really nice because there aren't a lot of cars around.  However, It didn't last long.  Car eventually stack up behind us because they're in a hurry.  65 MPH on a 55MPH Hwy is just not fast enough these days.  Once we make it pass the railroad crossing, that we crosses two days ago, we pull over to: let the metal horde pass, break for a quick drink, and snap one or two photos of the train crossing.

"This is what you're suppose to do to get out of the Sun," says the Captain.

This is the same train track crossing we got stuck at on the first day of the trip.

Nu's pulling another Captain Morgan.

We pass the Hi Sahara Oasis and I'm just about ready to flash the bird at the fine establishment.  However, I restrained myself and continued right pass the extremely crooked station.  We pass the train, and it passes us.  We jockey positions for a while until we stopped in Amboy once more.  Wow, it's a Sunday and this place is packed.  Too bad they're not open for business.  They could make a killing if it was the case.  That's OK, we don't need fuel and we're stopping just for a restroom break.  The filming crew that was here two days ago is long gone.  All I see are people trying to get out from under the hot sun.  What's worse, even if your out from under the sun, the ambient air is still going to roast you.  102F in the shade.  I'm just glad that the R12R is not having any problems with this temperature despite the fact it's air cooled.

Yes, read 'em and weep. 102F in the shade.

Bagdad, Siberia, Klondike, and Ragtown.  At best the temperature is 99F.  At worst the temperature is at 104F.  We fuel up one last time at Ragtown before making it all the way home.  Funny thing about this.  As I pull out my wallet, an older receipt files out of my pocket.  It makes its way here and there while I decided whether to give chase or not.  In the end, I gave chase.  It meanders here and there until it makes it way to a Harley's rear tire.  "I guess I was meant to meet you today," I said.  The guy said "Hi" and proceeded to ask where we're heading.  I said, "We going home from a trip to Lake Mead."  "Where is home?"  "LA."  "I'm headed the opposite way."  We both complained about fuel prices for a while until it was time for me to get back to what I was suppose to do, fuel up.  The poor guy elaborated a bit more and mentioned he is suffering from a bit of credit fraud.  Apparently, he used his credit card to fuel up at a gas station and ended up getting charged $300 for it.  It obvious someone stole his number and are having fun using it.  I can relate to the problem.  I can only imagine how many of us inocent people are effect by fraud every day.  I wished him luck in his endeavors and bid him farewell.

The idea is to continue on Route 66 until we reach Victorville.  It was a nice idea until we truly experience Route 66 in all it's glory.  If I ever do this again, I'm taking a GS.  The section of road between Ragtown and Newberry Spring is insane.  Nu had to drop back because the Captain and myself were spitting rocks everywhere.  No to mention we're riding into a substantial headwind.  The added vibration from the wind on my windshield, and the added noise coming through the helmet was making me go loopy.  I try to ride at a pace where we'll glide over the bumps on the road, but it doesn't work.  I even attempt to duck down behind the windshield.  Eventually, I had to stop.  It's a good decision.  I'm on the verge of vomiting from the loud noise, shock, and vibration.  In the end, we give up on the idea of Route 66 and decided to hop on the 40 Fwy to head back.  Is it much better of an idea?  Maybe, maybe not.  Wherever there is traffic, you can count on meeting up with idiots.  80 MPH isn't good enough.  Most cars want to drive at 90.

At last, Barstow.  Now we just have to contend with the traffic from people leaving Las Vegas to head back to LA.  As if that wasn't enough, we're being slapped silly by a heavy cross wind.  Being a naked bike, I don't have too many problems.  On hte other hand, the poor Captain was a sail boat.  Nu and I can see him struggle to fight against the wind.  We're in the slow lane, and there are still people tailgating us.  Amazing.  The problem is, the people in the fast lane are driving slow are refusing to let the fast people pass.  As a result, the fast people are going into the slow lane to pass the slow-fast people.  Nuts.  Why does it always have to be pandemonium at the end of every trip?  If anything, it tells me the people of this world are lost and need to slow down and see life for what it is.  We make it into Victorville at about 4:00 PM.  At this point, we might as well have dinner and then take the final stretch home.  We stop at the local Denny's for a rest and dinner.

None of us anticipated it was going to get this cold.  Lake Mead was in the 100+ and Victorville is in the high 40s.  Talk about extremes in temperature after just a 50 miles stretch.  Nu thought he could make it home with just the armor.  No such luck.  We had to pull to the side of the freeway for him to add another layer of clothing.  I should have added the liner myself, but decided to tough it out until we reach the LA basin.  Pulling to the side of the freeway is easy.  Getting back on it with the rush of traffic was insane.  In the end we all got back on alive, and head for home.

Eventually we strip off one by one.  The Captain continued on the 15 Fwy until he reached the 10 Fwy.  Nu and I took the 210 Fwy until Nu broke off around Azusa.  In the end it is another successful trip with all involved surviving the crazy traffic home.  As always, it's an experience.

Greater than 10 tons at 80MPH - Day 1
Cottonwood Cove ... are you sure? - Day 2

Written on: June 2, 2008
Last modified: July 27, 2008